Minggu, 25 September 2016
John Fenn, Random Thought, Dominion Theology #1
In some circles people are prophesying abundant prosperity to the USA and world when Trump wins the US election, which will usher in a time when Christians will dominate the '7 mountains' (see below for definition) in a new era of blessing and prosperity. This comes from what is generally called 'Dominion Theology' or 'Kingdom Now'.
I'm getting a lot of emails asking me to comment on Dominion Theology, but many may not even be aware such a thing exists, so let me first define it, then next week I'll share scripture point by point on the matter.
What it is
Dominion Theology believes Christians will take over or 'have dominion' over the world. Though there are various 'streams' under the umbrella of Dominion Theology, the founding belief sounds reasonable at first glance: Adam was told to have dominion over the world in Genesis 1:26-28, but by his sin brought the world under a curse. Then Jesus came and reversed the curse, bringing the kingdom of God into the hearts of mankind; therefore we have Adam's mandate to have dominion over the world and bring the kingdom to man.
Another way to say it is that they believe God lost control over the world when Adam sinned, and has been trying to get it back. Therefore 'prayer warriors' praying down the kingdom and against demonic strongholds, 'covenant people', 'overcomers' and other phrases like 'Joel's army' are used to identify this way of thinking.
As such, they believe the rapture is merely a joyous feeling we will experience when Jesus returns, the prophecies about Israel are actually about the church, and therefore the kingdom comes first in the hearts of believers, and some of those believers, the overcomers, will turn the earth over to the Lord at His return.
Dominion Theology believes the kingdom of God will come to the world through Christians gradually taking over the '7 mountains' or 7 spheres of influence.
The 7 mountains
The 7 mountains they believe Christians will take over, first in the US and then the rest of the world, are: Religion, family, government, education, media, business, arts & entertainment.
With emphasis on 'apostles' in these 7 areas, those apostles being part of the '5-fold' ministries, the idea is Christians will rise under the leadership of these apostles in the 7 mountains to turn this world around. Variations exist within the Dominionists, but the idea is the '5-fold' will lead the US in a sort of democratic theocracy back to God in a great national and then world-wide revival.
How 'apostles' function in the 7 mountains
Take a look at those 7 mountains and let us pick one, say arts & entertainment. Their idea is that Christian films and art will gradually begin to infiltrate, saturate, and then be the dominant influence in Hollywood, Broadway, and so on. Citing various Christian and conservative artists now active in each, Dominionists can point to apparent progress as proof their theology is correct.
In politics the Trump candidacy with its Constitutional core values, can be pointed to as progress, with the hopes a Trump administration will appoint believers in Cabinet level positions to reverse years of liberal policies, thus bringing elements of the kingdom of God to the federal government.
In business the hopes and prayers are for CEO's of larger companies to be or become Christians, who will then institute conservative policies and Christians freedoms in those companies...and on it goes.
In this way of thinking, Trump is an 'apostle' set to influence the mountain of government. A Christian CEO is an 'apostle' over his company. Christian actors and producers and people of influence in Hollywood would be 'apostles', leading Christian influence there, and so on.
Does wanting greater Christian influence make a person a Dominionist?
Just because someone believes Christians should rise to greater influence in society, or the '7 mountains', doesn't make them a Dominionist. The average Christian would love to see Christians in places of authority in those 7 mountains in their nation - but it doesn't mean they believe we should create a kingdom now to hand the earth over to Jesus at His return so He can take it from there.
And just because a pastor's sermon is about Christians being active in one of those 7 mountains, doesn't mean he is a Kingdom Now preacher. In the same way a person thinking about buying a certain model of car and then suddenly notices that model all around them, there are those who zero in on anything remotely sounding Kingdom Now, so we have to look at the larger picture, the larger ministry, the larger message.
Modern prosperity gospel
The reasons Dominion Theology has taken hold in the US are multi-faceted. One is that it counters the way of thought seen in the US federal government today, the 'liberal agenda'. Tired of having non-Christian laws, policies, and culture forced upon a general population that doesn't agree with that agenda, Dominion Theology is seen as the political counter-force.
Another is economic. A simple Internet search or by just listening to economic news tells the story of how far the US economy has fallen in the last 8 years: 50,000,000 on food stamps, 100,000,000 not in the work force (nearly 1/3 of the US population is not working), half of all households in the US are receiving some form of unearned government assistance.
Recent studies show that Americans work longer hours than any other developed nation, with over 25,000,000 working over 49 hours per week (over 1 in 5 workers). Many of those hours are from 2 part-time jobs because of lay offs due to the enforcement of health care laws and corporate and personal tax increases. In 2016 the US government will take in 3.3 trillion dollars - yet still spend more than they take in.
The US population is angry at both Republicans and Democrats and this rage has fueled the candidacy of Donald Trump. So it is natural that the Dominion Theology proponents would include a strong element of the prosperity gospel in a sort of theological stew mixing in every facet of life.
It is this modern update to the prosperity gospel that seems to be a driving force for many, as seen in the personal prophecies proclaiming riches and blessings in the near future.
Any fad movement has to have prophecy to lend credibility...
'Personal prophecies' in abundance have always been the 'stamp of approval' for whatever the newest fad in the charismatic world happens to be. Any fad movement bases their belief on what they think they see in the Word, but then they need the Spirit to go along, hence the abundance of personal prophecies.
In the 42 or so years I've walked with the Father I've seen every single charismatic movement also accompanied by personal prophecy that agrees with whatever spin on the Word that 'newest move of God' presents, so I'm not surprised to hear of all the prophecies about a new era of abundance and peace coming to the US and world with this election cycle.
But the question today isn't political, rather is Dominion Theology's understanding of the Bible correct? Is this a scriptural understanding of New Testament Christianity? Will 'overcomers' hand the world to Jesus at His return? Does Israel matter?
And I'll pick it up there next week, until then, blessings,
New CD/MP3 Series
David; King in Exile, is the 3rd of a 3 part series looking at the Psalms David wrote at various events in his life. In this series we see the anguish of a father whose son turns against him, and the Psalms where he wrestled with wanting to see justice yet wanting his son saved. We see the intrigue of David's family life and Bathsheba's grandfather, David's closest advisor, and we see victorious David reclaiming his kingdom and purchasing the hill top that would become the Temple Mount, the place of Solomon's temple. And finally, at the end of his life David's Psalms are reflective, looking to God as the Creator to whom he will soon go, and the recounting of God's faithfulness to him down through the years. For anyone who loves someone who isn't walking with the Lord, to one reflecting on God's faithfulness, this series will inspire you!